SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Another business in the Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood west of Downtown Sioux Falls will no longer sell alcohol after the license renewal was voted down by the city council.
It’s an effort to help with crime problems near the businesses along West 11th Street.
Tuesday night, the council voted 7-1 against the renewal of the malt beverage license for La Tapatia Mexican Store, which is in the same building as the Lucky Lady Casino which closed last week.
Councilors against the renewal are staying consistent with a pattern of whether the businesses in that area are in a “suitable location” to sell alcohol.
Last week, the owners of the Lucky Lady Casino pulled their requests for malt beverage license renewals and closed down the establishment. Now, just a couple doors down, La Tapatia Mexican Store will soon stop selling alcohol.
Councilor Greg Neitzert says he visited the store and restaurant last week and reiterates it’s a “very good business” that is “not the problem” but falls under a precedent the council has set.
“I don’t want them to be harmed, and so I don’t want any inference whatsoever that this is anything to do with how they run their business, their conduct, their professionalism. They’re frankly to me a victim of circumstance in this case” Neitzert said.
Neitzert says after his conversations with the business owner, he learned that crime has negatively impacted her store.
“It’s clear we need to act. It’s past time. The neighborhood has suffered for too long. This has festered and it’s had significant challenges,” Neitzert said.
La Tapatia owner Josphina Marquez spoke at the meeting with a translator, and does not believe her store contributes to the problems, but she is willing to help.
“If it is my license that you are going to take off because of beer, I agree with that. But my opinion is, that if you take my license, also you can take Mercato and Munchies’ [licenses],” Marquez said.
It’s a plan for some council members to follow the same pattern going forward for other alcohol license renewals nearby.
“I would also just mention, anybody else in the immediate vicinity, particularly in the building, consider yourself on notice and plan accordingly, because I would intend to keep consistent with this,” Neitzert said.
“I, hopefully along with some other councilors, will be looking at any legal options that we have before us as well to pull any other liquor or alcohol licenses sooner rather than later, and so looking at options there as well but making sure we’re consistent that this is not a suitable location at this time,” councilor Rich Merkouris said.
The malt beverage license for La Tapatia expires on June 30. Mercato, another business that sells alcohol at the end of that same building – their off-sale liquor license is up for renewal in the fall.